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Recap / Steven Universe S5E1 "Stuck Together"

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Aquamarine's ship has taken off and is on the way to Homeworld. The other Topaz appears, carrying Lars. Steven is freaked out since he thought he'd got all his human friends off the ship when he gave himself up to Aquamarine. He tries to tell Aquamarine that the deal is off since he was supposed to have been in trade for all the humans, and there's still one on board. Aquamarine taunts Steven and mocks his upset, then ascends to bask in her victory. Topaz fuses once again to trap Steven and Lars in her immense body, and responds to Aquamarine's order to pilot the ship.

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Lars complains at being sat on and he and Steven begin to talk, having nothing else to do. Lars figures Topaz isn't listening and can't hear them anyway with her big headphones on. Steven tries to get Lars to use Steven's jeans to snag one of the nearby gem stabilizers, but Lars barely puts any effort into it, despite Steven's repeated urging. Lars finally gets frustrated and balls up the jeans, throwing them short of the disruptors.

The ship judders and Aquamarine, figuring the Crystal Gems damaged the engine before they left earth, commands Topaz go below and fix it. Lars confesses that he hid because he was afraid. He ran from Sadie in trouble because he was afraid, and that he's a wuss, always afraid all the time. Tears flow as he speaks about being afraid of going to the potluck, and that trashing his ube roll was how he got abducted. He says he's not like Steven, strong, unafraid, and always able to help people.

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Steven: Lars...I'm afraid right now.

Steven goes on to tell Lars about what he's been through, how he ended up at this point, and that he doesn't know what is waiting for him on Homeworld. Steven admits that he thinks it's terrible of him to be glad Lars is there because he doesn't want to be alone. Lars makes a remark to try to encourage Steven, and Steven responds with amazement that Lars can do optimistic. But he says he prefers the real Lars, who is real with him about when things are awful. Lars admits everything is awful right now...

...and suddenly a new voice joins the conversation. It's the fused Topaz, who has been moved by Steven and Lars being there for each other. She tells them she wouldn't be able to cope, each Topaz without the other to bring her strength and support. She explains she hates going on these missions and has to pretend to be fine with it. She gushes about how beautiful their emotions are and gets to her feet, ready to help the boys in any way she can. Steven says he needs to get Lars back to earth and Topaz readily complies.

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Topaz readies an escape pod with coordinates set to return to Earth, and is about to unfuse so Lars can get in it. But Lars insists that Steven come too. Steven refuses on the grounds that he turned himself in. As they argue, Aquamarine arrives and demands to know what's going on.

Emboldened by the love of the two friends, Topaz easily pins Aquamarine to the wall with a giant hand. Aquamarine presses her only advantage, slyly asking what would become of Topaz once they got back to Homeworld, if it was revealed she'd mutinied and poofed Aquamarine.

Aquamarine: You'll be separated! And shattered!

This threat is too much for Topaz to risk — losing herself and her other halves! She lets Aquamarine go. Aquamarine destroys the escape pod, so no one has a chance to get away.

Once they arrive on Homeworld, Topaz un-fuses. The left one walks left with Lars. The right one walks right with Steven. They call for each other until they are each shifted out of sight by the wall closing behind them.


Tropes:

  • And Then What?: After Topaz threatens Aquamarine, Aquamarine questions what Topaz is going to do afterward.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Steven, while trying to act like how Homeworld sees Rose, claims that he likes to shatter Diamonds. Aquamarine is too smug to see through it.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Turns out Topaz hates the missions she goes on and would happily help Lars and Steven escape, but is too afraid of being separated and shattered to do so when Aquamarine points it out.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Lars: Steven, this is all your fault. All this weird alien stuff; this is 'cause of you, isn't it?
    Steven: Yes, of course it is!
  • Bottle Episode: Everything but the last few seconds takes place in Aquamarine's ship, and much of it is Steven and Lars talking to each other.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Topaz is so moved by Lars and Steven's support for one another that she starts bawling about how much the Topazes comprising her Fusion care about each other, and decides to help the two humans escape.
  • Call-Back:
    • Steven found Lars's ube roll in the trash in "The Good Lars". Lars confirms he tossed it prior to being abducted.
    • Aquamarine's ship has Gem destabilizers, last seen in "The Return"/"Jail Break".
  • Cliffhanger: Aquamarine's ship makes it to Homeworld, and Steven and Lars are taken in different directions to places unknown.
  • Crocodile Tears: Aquamarine claims to be generally upset when she didn't fulfill her part of Steven’s deal, then laughs and says it's only her gemstone, lampshading the shape and placement of it.
  • Cry Cute: Lars when he derides himself for being a coward, and Topaz when she's moved to tears over Steven and Lars's friendship.
  • Cry Laughing: Steven and Lars cry as they console each other about being trapped, then start laughing.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Lars realizes that, in hindsight, running and hiding in the ship wasn't the best plan.
    • Topaz mutinies against Aquamarine, at one point even holding her by the throat with a destabilizer pointed at her. Topaz lets Aquamarine go once she asks her what she's going to do after she's defeated Aquamarine and taken over the ship.
    Aquamarine: So...a revolt, huh? And what do you plan to do after this? Go back to the Diamonds, my Gem in your hand? I'm sure they'll love that. You'll be rewarded handsomely...by being separated and shattered.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Aquamarine pretends to feel sorry for Steven and Lars when they're upset that she didn't uphold her side of the deal:
    Aquamarine: Oh no! Is Rosie upset because her widdle deal didn't work? (points to the gemstone in her cheek) Look, I'm so moved, I'm crying. Just kidding! That's my gem!
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title can refer to Steven and Lars stuck in Topaz, or how Topaz feels working for Homeworld.
  • Downer Ending: Steven is unable to get Lars off the ship, and they both arrive on Homeworld, where they're then separated.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The two Topazes composing the Fused one genuinely care about one another and are terrified of being separated.
  • Exact Words: Steven tells Lars to pull off Steven's pants, which Lars reluctantly complies with. Steven then tells him to use them as a lasso to grab a Gem Destabilizer, but Lars claims he can't because he dropped the pants on the floor after taking them (they're actually still in reach, not that the lasso plan works out anyway).
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Lars blasts Steven for being the cause of their abduction, Steven explains that he turned himself in to spare everyone else, and asks where Lars was when he did it. Lars states that he ran and hid like any sensible person would do... if they wanted to get trapped on a spaceship.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Steven and Lars assume that Topaz can't hear them talking, even though she clearly had no trouble hearing and following Aquamarine's verbally given orders earlier.
  • Fantastic Slur: Aquamarine refers to Topaz as "you big boulder".
  • Fate Worse than Death: Aquamarine tells Steven that if he thinks shattering is bad, to "wait till the Diamonds get their hands on [him]".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the previous episode, the Topazes Fused just by holding hands, not needing a dance or the cheerleading-style pyramid the Rubies seem to need. The only other characters we've seen do that are ones with a very close bond.
    • If you pay attention to the scene where Topaz takes Steven and Lars down into the engine room while she's trying to fix the engine, you'll notice that the sounds of her interacting with the console stop as she pauses to listen to what the two are saying to each other, long before she actually starts crying and talks.
  • Forgot to Gag Him: Topaz does not cover Lars or Steven's mouths as she did for most of the humans in the previous episode, allowing them to converse between each other and (accidentally) convince her to help them.
  • Friendship Moment: As Steven starts to see the situation as fully hopeless, Lars actually tries to get him to look at it more optimistically. Steven responds by fondly talking about this change of attitude, since Lars usually won't sugarcoat a bad situation. They both agree their situation really is awful, but clearly find condolence from each other.
    Steven: You want to know what's even more messed up? Even though you're in huge trouble, and it's all my fault... I'm kind of glad you're here. I... I don't want to be alone right now. (starts crying) Isn't that awful?
    Lars: (tearing up but smiling) Dude, at this point, everything is awful.
    (Steven's frown turns into a smile and both begin to laugh)
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Aquamarine manages to keep the Topazes from pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Lars sees himself as a weakling and a coward and is genuinely jealous of Steven for being a generally better person than he sees himself as.
    • The Topazes turn out to hate their job and genuinely care for one another, to the point where seeing Steven and Lars's heart to heart moves their Fused form to tears and makes her want to help them.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Topaz sets an escape pod for Earth, so it seems like at least Lars will get to safety. While he argues for Steven to go with him, Aquamarine shows up and destroys the escape pod.
    • Topaz disarms Aquamarine and is in position to poof her, but Aquamarine gets her to back off by pointing out she'll have to face Homeworld for her betrayal.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Aquamarine: Say Rose, how do I look?
    Steven: Awful, small, and mean!
    Aquamarine: (laughs) Is that how you flattered so many Gems into joining your rebellion? (pinches Steven's cheek) How cute.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Topaz threatens to poof Aquamarine, Aquamarine responds that she wouldn't know what to do afterwards and would be sought after and face harsh punishment by the Diamonds for betraying Homeworld, which are all true. This forces Topaz to back down and continue the mission.
  • Kick the Dog: Aquamarine makes fun of Steven when he orders her to free Lars.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lars points out Topaz should not be able to hear with gemstones replacing her ears, although he thinks they're some sort of headphones.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After Topaz's attempt to betray Aquamarine and the mission falls through, they agree to this. Oddly, it's Aquamarine who makes the offer, even though she has the power to punish Topaz.
  • Lima Syndrome: Overhearing Steven and Lars's conversation causes Topaz to try to help them, though she eventually puts her own wellbeing first.
  • Not So Stoic: Topaz is moved to tears by Steven and Lars's camaraderie.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Topaz has Aquamarine pinned against the reactor and threatens to use the destabilizer on her, the look on her face plus her speaking tone as she's talking down the former subtly show that she's terrified.
  • Parrot Expo What: Steven spots three Gem destabilizers and points them out to Lars, to which Lars responds, "A destabi-what?"
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Even though Lars behaved like a Dirty Coward last episode, he refuses to take the escape pod alone and urges Steven to escape with him rather than stay and face Homeworld.
    • Even though Topaz nearly poofs her, Aquamarine agrees to write it off if Topaz defuses, blaming her change of heart on prolonged Fusions having such a predictable effect.
    • A subtle one is how Aquamarine chooses to destroy the escape pod instead of using of her wand on Topaz when she had the chance.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Steven tells Lars to use his pants as a rope to grab a destabilizer, except his pants are far too short to lasso it from a long distance.
    • The Topazes' decision to side with Steven and Lars and stop Aquamarine is noble, but Aquamarine is right to note that doing this would make them both traitors to Homeworld and the Diamonds will have no mercy if they're caught, plus they have no real plan for what to do after they poof her.
  • Redemption Failure: Topaz decides to help Steven and Lars after being inspired by their conversation, but Aquamarine shows up and foils Steven's attempt to get Lars to safety. Topaz tries to poof Aquamarine, but Aquamarine convinces her that the Diamonds would punish her, which causes her to turn on Steven and Lars.
  • Reveal Shot: As Steven and Lars get deep in conversation, Topaz's face is only partially in frame, and the pullback shows that she's crying her eyes out.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Steven makes a (half-baked and rushed) attempt to appeal to Aquamarine's better nature. Aquamarine replies with a look of befuddlement and contempt, then continues as if he didn't say anything.
  • Squishy Wizard: Aquamarine's immobilizing wand makes her extremely hard to deal with, but she's powerless when Topaz manages to close the distance and slam her against the reactor.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!:
    Lars: What if I don't want to be saved? What if I want to stay trapped here and fly around space, and why your pants, you weirdo!?
  • Tempting Fate: Steven expresses relief that everyone else on Earth is safe, only for one of the Topazes to drag Lars into view.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Steven's attempt at negotiating with Topaz to help Lars doesn't go so easily.
    Steven: Hey! Look, you have Rose Quartz, why bother with him? He's worthless!
    Lars: Thanks a lot Steven.
    Steven: No, I meant like worth less, not worthless like relative to me?
  • Third-Person Person: Topaz, the Fusion, speaks of her individual component Gems, who are also Topaz:
    Topaz: I don't know what Topaz would do if she didn't have Topaz.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Aquamarine thinks the problem with Gem Fusions is that two Gems being together like that eventually causes them to act "sentimental".
  • Vocal Dissonance: Topaz speaks in a surprisingly high pitched and young-sounding voice.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Steven calls out Lars for running and hiding deeper into the ship he wanted to get off of.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Aquamarine was willing to let the humans go in exchange for Steven/Rose, but she refuses to go back to return Lars when it's discovered he stayed on the ship.
  • You Will Be Spared: Despite Topaz attempting to betray Aquamarine by letting Steven and Lars go and attacking Aquamarine when she caught them, Aquamarine decides to forget it ever happened, attributing Topaz's betrayal to her Fusion state making her "sentimental".

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